When I first heard country newcomer Mo Pitney’s debut single, “Country” his potential immediately caught my attention. While the song is certainly nothing special, there were two aspects about him that were palatable to my ears. First was the traditional country production and instrumentation. As Derek said in his review, the fiddle and steel guitar were noticeable. It was a country sound through and through. The other aspect was Pitney’s deep, baritone voice that reminds listeners of the great Randy Travis. This song almost had the total package. So ever since I heard “Country” I’ve been intrigued and waiting to hear the next offering from Pitney. Well that’s finally here as he just recently released a new single, “Clean Up On Aisle Five.”
Does this new song deliver all the way? Yes! This is exactly what I wanted to hear from Pitney. The traditional country approach still remains from “Country” on “Clean Up On Aisle Five.” The steel guitar and fiddle return, as their featured prominently throughout the song. While the traditional approach is great, it’s really Pitney’s voice that leads the song. The instrumentation is great, but it’s kept quieter allowing his voice to shine. As I always say less is more and this is the case once again. Speaking of Pitney’s voice, the artist I thought he sounded like the most on this song was Ronnie Dunn, especially in the chorus. When your voice is being compared to Travis and Dunn, you’re doing something right.
As for the song itself, “Clean Up On Aisle Five” is a very well-written song. It begins with a man walking into the grocery store to pick some stuff up and just as he goes to get a box of Cheerios, he hears a familiar voice calling out his name. He instantly recognizes her voice and his legs get weak as he sees her smile. It was the girl who had broken his heart about a year ago. He thought that he was over her, but seeing her again brings back all of the old feelings and realizes he still loves her. It makes him wish that their relationship never ended. The following chorus line really drives his feelings home: “And if I wasn’t standing in that store I might have laid right on that floor and cried/I heard that voice, I saw that smile, clean up on aisle five.”
As the song continues, the two start to talk and she jokingly tells him that he looks like a kid with a box of Cheerios. Some people might not like the Cheerios line and may feel it is cheesy, but it really doesn’t feel like that to me. They then start to talk about old times, which the man realizes is a mistake after bringing it up. By bringing it up it just leaves him feeling empty as she walked away and ended their surprise reunion. Despite his feelings, he has to live with the fact that life goes on. The lyrics really do an excellent job of conveying the feelings of the situation. It’s a real gut punch to anyone who’s experienced this, as it’s easy to connect with.
I can see why when Pitney performed this song at the Opry last summer and he got a standing ovation. Maybe this song will be to him what “Long Black Train” was to Josh Turner. Pitney could be the next Turner type on radio and we could definitely use another artist like Turner at the moment. Pitney seems dedicated to the traditional sound and he has the chops and talent to pull it off. Keep giving him songs like this and he should be a household name in no time. In a perfect world this song gets a ton of radio play, but we live in a far from perfect world. Regardless, “Clean Up On Aisle Five” is a song that everyone should check out and give a listen. This may be one of the best songs we’ll hear from mainstream country music in 2015. I’m looking forward to what’s to come from this promising, up-and-coming artist. Mo Pitney is one to watch.